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Belgrade Media Monitoring

Compilation from Belgrade daily newspapers, prepared by editorial staff of the Voice of Kosovo and Metohia

April 18, 2000

  • Investigation of crimes against Serbs
  • Der Spiegel: UN police investigating Thaci, other KLA leaders
  • Albanians attack Serbian police in Kosovo border area
  • Ethnic Albanians beat up brothers Petronijevic
  • Ethnic Albanians savagely beat up two Serbs
  • Serb priest attacked
  • Kosovo Albanian terrorists torch Serb village near Pec
  • New attack in Cernica
  • Serbs are forced to pay for their freedom
  • Imprisoned Kosovo Serbs continue hunger strike, send letter
  • Protest of the Egyptians who are expelled from the Kosovo-Metohija
  • Trial for terrorism
  • UNMIK reports corruption among Pristina ethnic Albanian officials
  • Ethnic Albanian publicist - Situation in Kosovo and Metohija deteriorating
  • Bishop Artemije and Momcilo Trajkovic in Moscow: Agreement about return of the Serbs in Kosovo
  • Kosovo Serbs in Moscow
  • Bishop Artemije on TV "Svitel": West didn’t recognize its mistakes yet
  • Census in Kosovska Mitrovica region on 26-th April
  • German General yesterday officially replaced by a Spanish General from Eurocorps: Ortunho new KFOR commander
  • Health problems of KFOR members due to Depleted Uranium
  • KFOR: 12 persons detained
  • Exhumation resumed
  • Investigation of crimes against Serbs

    (Borba daily, 18. 4. 2000)

    The investigation of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) leader Hashim Thaci and his associates in connection with crimes against Serbs by United Nations police in Kosovo and Metohija province is not only difficult, but dangerous as well, Brussels media said on Monday in reports datelined from Pristina.

    The reports said police investigators were constantly monitored by ethnic Albanian terrorists who openly threaten to kill them. One policemen's apartment in Pristina was recently broken into and robbed, media said.

    The Brussels daily La Libre Belgique said the investigation was focusing on the role of the organizers and heads of the so-called death squad which comprised professional killers.

    The daily carried a report published by the German weekly Der Spiegel about the investigation of terrorist KLA leaders and ethnic Albanian separatist leader Thaci, the current president of the so-called Temporary Administrative Council of Kosovo and the head of the Party for Democratic Progress of Kosovo.

    The investigation covers organized killings, torture, extortion. Victims of ethnic Albanian terrorists were Serbs, but also ethnic Albanians said to be cooperating with the Serb authorities in this southern Serbian province, and those who urged coexistence in the province, as well as any other opponents of the KLA's separatist policy, the report said.

    Der Spiegel: UN police investigating Thaci, other KLA leaders

    (Borba daily, 18. 4. 2000)

    United Nations police in Serbia's Kosovo and Metohija province are conducting an investigation against the leaders of the officially disbanded ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) for crimes committed in the province, the German weekly Der Spiegel said on Sunday.

    Quoting documents from Pristina, the weekly said ethnic Albanian separatist leader Hashim Thaci was one of the prime suspects.

    Charges include torture, organized killings, extortion, the weekly said.

    Thaci, the former KLA political leader and current president of the Temporary Administrative Council of Kosovo, is suspected of killing Serbs and ethnic Albanians whom he had labeled "collaborators," and rivals in the KLA itself, Der Spiegel said.

    Albanians attack Serbian police in Kosovo border area

    (B2 – 92, 18. 4. 2000)

    Dobrosin, Monday – A group of armed Albanians have attacked a border patrol near the villages of Lucane and Dobrosin near Serbia's administrative border with Kosovo, Beta reports today, quoting sources in southern Serbia. KFOR today confirmed that there had been shooting in the area on Saturday night but said there was no evidence that Serbian police were involved. Beta's Serbian sources claim that the attack was carried out by Albanians from Dobrosin, a village located in the border zone.

    KFOR Commander Klaus Reinhardt warned today that tension along the administrative border of Serbia and Kosovo was threatening to endanger stability in the region. Reinhardt, speaking today at his last press conference as KFOR commander, said that the region of southern Serbia bordering on eastern Kosovo remained raw, despite efforts to reduce tension and promises from the armed group of Albanians in the area that they would use political means to fight for their goals. "Frankly," said Reinhardt, "when I see them training with rocket launchers in the Dobrosin region I don't believe them."

    Ethnic Albanians beat up brothers Petronijevic

    (Serbia info, 18. 4. 2000)

    April 17, 2000 - Kosovska Mitrovica, April 17 (Tanjug) - A group of ethnic Albanian extremists savagely beat up Serb brothers Dragan Petronijevic (33), and Zoran Petronijevic (32), last night in their house yard in Suvi Do, 3km southwest of Kosovska Mitrovica. Both men are in critical condition - Dragan has severe head injuries, and Zoran has internal injuries. Both men were beaten with blunt objects, doctors at the hospital in northern Kosovska Mitrovica said. KFOR French troops were patrolling the village when the incident took place. The troops rescued the brothers from the terrorists and immediately took them to the hospital.

    * * * * *

    Kosovska Mitrovica, April 17 - Chairman of the Serbian Kosovska Mitrovica region National Forum's Executive Board Oliver Ivanovic lodged sharp protest with the Commander of the brigade "North", General Pier de'Saqui de'Sannes over the last night's ethnic Albanian attack on brothers Zoran and Dragan Petronijevic. Speaking at a press conference, he said that he had informed General de'Saqui de'Sannes that the Northern Kosovo Serb representatives would not consult KFOR about any issue until KFOR secured security conditions in Suvi Do, Slatina and Ruder.

    Ivanovic stated that Brothers Petronijevic have recognized the attacker Skender Redzepi and one of his two sons who took part in the attack, as well as the other attackers whose names he did not want to reveal in the interest of the inquiry.

    Ethnic Albanians savagely beat up two Serbs

    (Borba daily/Digest, 18. 4. 2000)

    A group of ethnic Albanian extremists savagely beat up Serb brothers Dragan Petronijevic, 33, and Zoran Petronijevic, 32, in their house yard in Suvi Do, 3km southwest of Kosovska Mitrovica in Serbia's Kosovo and Metohija province late Sunday. Both men are in critical condition.

    There are about 50 Serb and about 100 ethnic Albanian families in Suvi Do.

    Serb priest attacked

    (Danas/Digest, 18. 4. 2000)

    Ranilug, Kamenica – Group of Albanians have stoned the car of Serb priest, Nikola Trajkovic, on the road through Albanian village of Koretin near Kosovska Mitrovica. UNMIK police ordered Koretin Albanians to disclose culprits. (*)

    Kosovo Albanian terrorists torch Serb village near Pec

    (Tanjug, 18. 4. 2000)

    Ethnic Albanian terrorists torched and then razed with bulldozers 250 houses in the Serb village Bijelo Polje near Pec, amateur radio operators reported from Serbia's Kosovo and Metohija province on Sunday.

    On Saturday, the ethnic Albanian extremists first plundered all the houses, driving off with the furniture and other loot loaded onto 14-15 trucks. They then burned and razed the entire village.

    Their rampage was aimed at preventing the return of Serbs to their homes which they had fled in June 1999, fearing the terrorism of ethnic Albanians which flared with the arrival of the international force KFOR in Kosovo and Metohija.

    New attack in Cernica

    (Politika daily/Digest, 18. 4. 2000)

    Gnjilane, Cernica, April 17 (Tanjug) – In the village of Cernica near Gnjilane, ethnic Albanian extremists threw Molotov cocktails and burnt a stable of a Serb, Milorad Simic. (*)

    Serbs are forced to pay for their freedom

    (Serbia Info, 18. 4. 2000)

    Kosovska Mitrovica, April 17 (Tanjug) - Serbs detained in District prison in Kosovska Mitrovica stated in a letter sent to the Serbian National region Forum of Kosovo-Metohija that they will continue with their hunger strike "until their status is solved", at the price of health circumstances.

    In the prison in Kosovska Mitrovica there are 43 Serbs, 37 of whom are on a hunger strike since April 10, and yesterday one of the six prisoners who has serious health problems joined them.

    On the occasion of releasing ethnic Albanian Djeljalj Ademi from the detention so he could defend himself while he is on bail, detained Serbs went on strike. This year, March 7th in settlement Boshnjachka Mahala, Ademi threw two hand grenades and wounded 22 Serbs and 14 French soldiers.

    In the letter of imprisoned Serbs it is emphasized that they won't stop to strike on the basis of false promises, as they did before, but that they will continue with hunger strike until their status is solved, at the price of health circumstances.

    "For us this international court doesn't exist, in other words it makes decisions about prolonging our detention only, while ethnic Albanians are released every day before the trial", it is stated in the letter of Serbs sent to SNV and they ask the question who this court belong to - the Albanians or the International court.

    It is quoted in the letter that imprisoned Serbs, at the meeting with the governor of the prison, who was appointed by the civil administrator for Kosovo and Metohija, Bernard Kouchner, requested that representative of Kouchner's Committee for judicial system, and representative of International court and district attorney visit them immediately, so he could explain to them purpose of this court and how long will Serbs be detained in imprisonment pending, because all the legal periods for their detention, including international, are expired long ago.

    In the letter it is also stated - when they will be on trial and will it be trial in

    general, because, as it is well known, investigation in all cases of detained Serbs is not started yet.

    Some of the detained Serbs are in Kouchner's prison for ten months, and investigation isn't started yet. Serbs don't know why they are arrested.

    Among them, there are president of community Orahovac Andjelko Kolasinac, director of Health center in Orahovac Zoran Simic, and honorable Stanislav Levic from Orahovac.

    They and nine more men from Orahovac are arrested last year in July on the basis of anonymous charges, on which, they commit some criminal acts during NATO aggression ,allegedly. Alleged witnesses did not respond to a court summons for the last ten months.

    According to the facts of Serbian National Kosovska Mitrovica region Forum's Board for protection of human rights they are extorting from detained Serbs foreign currency ransom.

    In such a way suspected Nenad Vucetic of insignificant criminal act, because of which he was six months in custody, more than it would be eventual punishment for committed crime, paid 8,000 German marks in order to release him from prison and so that he could defend himself while he is on a bail.

    In custody is also Veljko Jovanovic, accused for alleged rape, who is arrested on the basis of "victim's charge" and four witnesses, who after his arrest haven't arrive in the court until today. He paid 10,000 German marks in order that they release him to defend himself while he is on bail.

    Among the detends is serious heart patient Alexander Lepovic, whose poor family can't collect 8,000 German marks, as much as ethnic Albanian judge wants. Lepovic is fourth month in detention, because in his house was found a rifle.

    Nebojsha Mutavcic in order to defend himself while he is on a bail he must pay 5,000 German marks, and he was arrested because he allegedly tried to set on fire, unknown local-cafe of unknown owner in Bosnjacka Mahala with his lighter. He is in detention from August 2nd last year and for that period alleged witnesses were not interrogated and interrogation has not started yet.

    In detention is Goran Kostic also, who is suspected of piercing two tires on UNMIK's automobile on February 12th. In this case also, court has not interrogated witnesses yet, neither expert opinion nor investigation was carried out. He is simply detained and forgotten, Nikola Kabasic, president of Serbian National Forum's Board for protection of human rights of north Kosovo-Metohija, stated. He added that on the occasion of doctor's visit to the detention it is concluded that Kostic is beaten because of what he was sent to the doctor.

    The symbol of injustice is minor V.V.(17), who ethnic Albanian judges keep in detention, but he is accused of "genocide".

    According to the criminal statutes of Yugoslavia and Serbia detention is three months for minors and when its about exceptional case, and according to Kouchner's regulation in that cases determines detention three plus three months, states Kabasic and reminds that minor V.V. is in detention for seven months.

    They continue to extend the deadlines, says Kabasic and adds that judges of minor V.V. who is a mentally retarded person, abuse and take advantage of him in order to put the blame on other Serbs.

    Imprisoned Kosovo Serbs continue hunger strike, send letter

    (Borba daily, 18. 4. 2000)

    Serbs imprisoned in the Kosovska Mitrovica district prison, who are on a hunger strike, said in a letter to the Serb National Forum of the district of Kosovska Mitrovica on Monday, that they would continue the strike "until their status is resolved."

    There are 43 Serbs in the Kosovska Mitrovica prison, and 37 of them went on a hunger strike on April 10. On Sunday, one of the six prisoners with serious health problems joined them as well.

    The hunger strike was triggered by the release on bail of ethnic Albanian prisoner Djeljalj Ademi who threw two bombs at a group of people in the town's Bosnjacka Mahala district on March 7 this year, wounding 22 Serbs and 14 KFOR French troops.

    The letter said the imprisoned Serbs would not stop the strike in reaction to false promises, as was the case before, but would strike until their status is resolved, even at the cost of health problems.

    "The international court does not exist for us, it works only to rule on extending our detention, while ethnic Albanians are daily released even before hearings," said the letter, asking if the court was ethnic Albanian or international.

    The Serbs ask when they will be tried, if at all, since investigations have not been opened for a single case of the detained Serbs.

    Some of the Serbs have been in prison for 10 months and no investigations have begun. The men do not even know why they have been placed under arrest.

    Protest of the Egyptians who are expelled from the Kosovo-Metohija

    (Serbia info/Digest, 18. 4. 2000)

    Skoplje, April 17 - About four thousand of Egyptians, who ethnic Albanian terrorists expelled from the Kosovo-Metohija to Macedonia, after the arrival of Kfor and UNMIK to the Serbian province on south, protested severely to the Macedonian government and to the office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR) in Skoplje, claming that they are completely forgotten and that only real solution will be their return to the Kosovo-Metohija.

    In Kosovo-Metohija lived more than 100.000 Egyptians, who were exposed to the unseen terror of ethnic Albanians terrorists. UNHCR and the government in Skoplje didn't accept the status of Egyptians as a special ethnic group, who took refugee in Macedonia, although they got it in Serbia in 1991. But they were registered in refugee lists as a Romanies or Albanians.

    Small part of the Egyptians stayed in Kosovo-Metohija, but they suffer there, it is stated in the letter and quoted that few days ago ethnic Albanian terrorists killed three Egyptians in Uroshevac, and some time earlier seven more, in front of the Kfor and UNMIK.

    Trial for terrorism

    (Danas/Digest, 18. 4. 2000)

    Nis - 144 Albanians from the Metohija town of Djakovica, accused of participating and organizing terrorist and enemy activities against Serb police and Yugoslav in April 1999 ,are on trial in Nis court. The prosecution says that two soldiers were killed and a policeman was wounded in one of the attacks in May while the war in Kosovo. (*)

    UNMIK reports corruption among Pristina ethnic Albanian officials

    (Tanjug, 18. 4. 2000)

    Pristina, April 17. (Tanjug) - U.N. civilian mission (UNMIK) administrator for Pristina Jay Carter has said that there is corruption in the ranks of local ethnic Albanian officials in Kosovo and Metohija's chief city.

    In an interview with Pristina's Albanian-language Zeri weekly, Carter said that he was gathering evidence of corruption that he would submit to relevant authorities.

    Carter said he feared that total chaos might break out in the city.

    He said that people were involved in illegal activities, bribery, corruption, illicit drug trafficking, prostitution and threats aimed at ensuring positions of authority for their friends. He said that the same was happening in other towns in the Yugoslav republic of Serbia's southern province but on a far smaller scale, saying that the situation was most critical in Pristina.

    He said that, if an end was not put to all illegal activities in the province, it would be faced with total anarchy the way Albania had been faced in the 1990's.

    He said that such a state of affairs suited only criminals.

    Ethnic Albanian publicist - Situation in Kosovo and Metohija deteriorating

    (Borba daily, 18. 4. 2000)

    Fatmir Seholi, an independent ethnic Albanian publicist, said Monday that disastrous anarchy and lawlessness had escalated in Kosovo and Metohija.

    Seholi told the local radio station Kontakt in Pristina, chief city of the Yugoslav republic of Serbia's southern province, that scores of robberies were registered on a daily basis, saying that ethnic Albanian terrorists were now robbing their ethnic kins because there were hardly any Serbs and other non-Albanians left in the province.

    He said that an end must be put to such a state of affairs, because it could result in a civil war between local ethnic Albanians and terrorists and extremists.

    "All this is happening in the presence of the UN civilian mission (UNMIK) and international forces," he said stressing that peace was not at all at hand in Kosovo and Metohija although the fight against ethnic Albanian terrorists had stopped.

    Instead of trying to find immediately ways of how to improve the situation in the province and of restoring the province's multi-ethnic character, some ethnic Albanian leaders are only trying to get rich, he said.

    Seholi underlined UNMIK's and the UN peacekeeping force KFOR's responsibility for a failure to implement the UN Security Council's Resolution 1244.

    Commenting on announcements that elections will be held in Kosovo and Metohija, Seholi said that there could be no elections unless the province's political status was defined. He said that, under the resolution, the province remained an integral part of Serbia and Yugoslavia.

    All outstanding issues concerning the province should be exclusively solved in Yugoslav and Serbian authorities' talks with ethnic Albanian parties and intellectuals as well as representatives of other ethnic communities, he said.

    Bishop Artemije and Momcilo Trajkovic in Moscow: Agreement about return of the Serbs in Kosovo

    (Blic daily, 18. 4. 2000)

    Moscow - The leadership of Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija and representatives of Serb resistance movement arrived in Moscow yesterday. Apart from Bishop Artemije and Momcilo Trajkovic, Bishop Atanasije Jeftic and some other are in the delegation. The delegation came to Moscow at the invitation of Russian Foreign minister Igor Ivanov. They are to discuss the position of the Serbs after arrival of the international military and civil forces in Kosovo. Return of 250,000 Serbs and other non-Albanians that were expelled from Kosovo as well as implementation of UN Resolution 1244 and other international documents on Kosovo will be topics of the discussion. Representatives of Kosovo Serbs are also expected to visit Duma and meet with the Russian Patriarch.

    Kosovo Serbs in Moscow

    (B2 – 92, 18. 4. 2000)

    Moscow, Monday – Delegations from the Serb National Council of Kosovo and the Serbian Resistance Movement arrived in Kosovo today. Among the members are Kosovo Serb leaders Bishop Artemije and Momcilo Trajkovic. On arrival at Moscow airport, Trajkovic told media that the Kosovo Serbs were in Russia at the invitation of Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov to discuss the position of Serbs in Kosovo, repatriation of displaced Serbs and other non-Albanians and the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

    In a statement issued today the Serb National Council warned that the Belgrade regime was stepping up its campaign against the council's officials and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo. According to the statement, representatives of the regime were organising petitions to create the illusion that Kosovo Serbs supported the ruling parties of Serbia against Bishop Artemije.

    Bishop Artemije on TV "Svitel": West didn’t recognize its mistakes yet

    (Glas javnosti/Digest, 18. 4. 2000)

    In an interview on Serbian TV "Svitel", Bishop Artemije emphasized that "West didn’t recognize its mistakes yet", but stressed that Kosovo Serbs must cooperate with KFOR in direction of safety of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija. Bishop Artemije said that chosen Serb representatives have left Kosmet and hand own people over to mercy of Albanian terrorists. "We assume that concentration camps for Serbs exist", said Bishop Artemije. (*)

    Census in Kosovska Mitrovica region on 26-th April

    (Danas/Digest, 18. 4. 2000)

    Pristina - Regional Electoral Confidant of OSCE, Froed Stronen, announced that census, a first step toward elections, in Kosovska Mitrovica region will begin on 26-th April and warned Serbs that they would not be able to participate on elections and elected without registration. The President of the Serb National Forum, Oliver Jovanovic, opposed such census and elections. (*)

    German General yesterday officially replaced by a Spanish General from Eurocorps: Ortunho new KFOR commander

    (Blic daily, 18. 4. 2000)

    Pristina - The new KFOR commander as of yesterday is Spanish General Juan Ortunho. Leaving his duty, General Klaus Reinhardt said he was concerned about activities of armed groups in the south of Serbia.

    "Presevo valley is one of the problematic locations that concerns me. In spite of the claims of the groups there that they would continue to struggle for their cause peacefully, I simply do not believe them after having seen them in military training in the territory of Dobrosin", Reinhardt said at farewell press conference in Pristina.

    Political council of Albanians in Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovic signed after discussion with American diplomats, statement opposing the armed conflict. As Reuters reports, Reinhardt`s statement is so far the clearest statement that NATO realizes that very little of the activities follow what was said in the declaration. Western officials believe that the area of Presevo is the next location of conflict.

    "During my command, 532 people were killed, 22l kidnapped and 1,150 arrested. During the same period there were 1,146 incidents. However, the situation in Kosovo was much worse during the presence of Yugoslav Army and Police", Reinhardt said. According to him the central part of Kosovo is characterized by the highest degree of intolerance and insecurity. Kosovska Mitrovica, as Reinhardt said, has to become a united city.

    Commenting statement by General Nebojsa Pavkovic head-of-staff of Yugoslav Army about return of Yugoslav Army and Police in Kosovo, Reinhardt said it was only propaganda.

    Reinhardt supported project for return of the Serbs in Kosovo but he pointed out that necessary conditions of security had to be provided first.

    Health problems of KFOR members due to Depleted Uranium

    (Serbia info, 18. 4. 2000)

    Belgrade, April 17 (Tanjug) - A group of British KFOR soldiers will sue the British Ministry of Defense for the health problems caused by the exposure to Depleted Uranium which was used in antitank rockets during the last year's NATO bombardment of Kosovo and Metohija, says The Sunday Times, BBC reports.

    Twelve British soldiers will bring the charges, out of which 11 are still in Kosovo and Metohija, says The Sunday Times.

    The paper says that Belgium has already subjected its 14,000 soldiers deployed in Kosovo and Metohija to tests and that there were some cases of health problems caused by the exposure to Depleted Uranium in the locations which were not considered as particularly risky.

    However, the local population is facing the gravest danger, The Sunday Times conveys the assessment of an American expert.

    KFOR: 12 persons detained

    (Danas/Digest, 18. 4. 2000)

    Pristina (Beta) – In last 24 hours, 12 persons, ethnic Albanians, were detained in suspicion of carrying out various criminal acts. One was detained for theft, one for the possession of drugs, three for illegal possession of weapons, one for a hit and run accident, three for crossing the border illegally, one for bodily harm and two for resisting against the police, KFOR reported. (*)

    Exhumation resumed

    (Danas/Digest, 18. 4. 2000)

    Pristina, April 17 – After the winter break, the Hague Tribunal resumed the exhumation of graves in Kosovo. (*)

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